ICC Ratified by 66 Countries, Will Begin Operation in July
Ten nations ratified the International Criminal Court (ICC) today bringing the total number of nations to ratify the 1998 Rome treaty to 66, meaning that the ICC will finally enter into force this July. The ICC will operate across from the International Criminal Tribunal until it can move into its permanent home in the Hague, Netherlands in 2007. The ICC is a permanent court designed to prosecute war criminals, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC also presents clear language defining gender crimes to include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. “A page in the history of humankind is being turned,” said United Nations Chief Legal Counsel Hans Corell.
The United States is one of the few Western countries not to ratify the ICC. The Bush Administration is even considering “unsigning” the treaty. "Unsigning" the ICC treaty would be a formal indication that the U.S. has no intention of ever ratifying the treaty and wishes to be released from its obligations. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has reportedly warned Secretary of State Colin Powell that attacking the ICC will provoke a clash with European allies. According to the UN Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs no country has ever left a UN treaty unsigned.
The ten countries to ratify the ICC today were: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Ireland, Jordan, Mongolia, Niger, Romania, and Slovakia.
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .